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Renewable energy: let’s go for it

Nov 25, 2014, 9:41 AM

The Ministry of Energy, in collaboration with ECOWAS, has validated the National Baseline Data Report for renewable energy.

The validation of this report is expected to lay the foundation that would enable an action plan to spell out the roadmap for future work in renewable energy.

The report is a further testimony of the efforts by the Gambia government and its partners to promote renewable energy in the country.

Renewable energy is especially important for The Gambia, like many other countries in the sub-region, for the country continues to be faced with enormous problems of energy provision because of total dependence on biomass and imported fossil fuels for power generation.

This is seriously affecting the country’s foreign exchange reserves, thus making it vulnerable to fluctuations in world oil prices.

It is also depriving a large percentage of the population access to energy, because power provision using fossil fuels is very cost-intensive and the ultimate price is paid by the consumers.

A senior official of the European Union has said that many people in The Gambia lack electricity because the tariff is very costly.

A former Minister of Petroleum has earlier on said the high cost of electricity in the country is as a result of reliance on imported fossil fuel for energy provision.

A report by the defunct National Planning Commission says The Gambia’s current electricity provision is irregular and extremely unreliable, and this is negatively impacting on investment and production.

All these are testimonies that The Gambia needs an alternative source of energy provision – a type that is not only reliable, but also affordable - which only renewable energy can provide.

The Gambia is developing rapidly and if such pace of development is to be sustained and further consolidated, there is an urgent need to shift to renewable energy.

Without renewable, sustainable and affordable energy, manufacturing would all but decline, commercial activity would be depressed, and transportation would be reduced to a crawl.Schools, hospitals and other institutions would not function properly.

Furthermore, manual agricultural production would absorb most of our time and labour when we could only derive meagre output from therein.

Without sustainable and affordable energy, most of us would be reduced to a poverty level of living.

The success of all the efforts by the government to reduce poverty and unemployment, and boost tourism, among others to a large extent depends on the availability of efficient, reliable and affordable power that is sustainable and environmentally-sound, which can only come about through renewable energy.

This is the form of energy that can put The Gambia on a rising pedestal in future. Let’s go for it.

“The future is green energy, sustainability, renewableenergy.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger